The New England Patriots saw their historic 11-year dominance of the AFC East end in 2020 when the team struggled to a 7-9 record amid a COVID 19-impacted NFL season.
Could an immediate bounce back be in the script for the upcoming 2021 campaign?
Oddsmakers seem to think the Patriots have a chance, and so does ESPN's Stephen A. Smith.
On a recent episode of "First Take", Smith explain why the Patriots are a legitimate threat to the Buffalo Bills in the division. Smith highlighted the Patriots' improved defense, the coaching brilliance of Bill Belichick, rookie Mac Jones starting at quarterback and what should be a very good rushing attack in New England.
Check out the segment in the video below:
The Patriots kick off the 2021 season and their divisional schedule on Sunday with a Week 1 game against the rival Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium.
However, just three of the Patriots' first 12 games are versus AFC East opponents, which could set up some very exciting divisional matchups late in the season, including two showdowns with the Bills.
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